DomaCom looks to crowdfund Kidman Station

09-Dec-2015

By Elizabeth Somerville

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Fractional property investment firm DomaCom could provide retail investors with the opportunity to own a part of one of Australia’s agricultural icons, Kidman Station, under a radical proposal to open up the sale to crowdfunding.

The firm was currently in the process of raising funds to purchase Kidman Station via a crowdfunding campaign that used the DomaCom fund as an investment vehicle.

If the proposal went ahead, the $360 million portfolio of Kidman properties would be put into play for mum and dad investors.

Seventh generation pastoralist Stephen Burgin said it would be a “wonderful opportunity” for Australians to invest in part of the nation’s agricultural heritage and would help allay some of the concerns citizens had about retaining Australia’s agricultural assets.

DomaCom chief executive Arthur Naoumidis said the crowdfunding platform would provide the ideal vehicle to allow retail investors to invest in the Kidman estate.

“Crowdfunding hasn’t traditionally been associated with pastoral properties, but that’s no reason why it can’t be done,” Naoumidis said.

“The platform is structured to cater for everything from the smallest apartments to a deal of the Kidman magnitude.

“The principle is the same, and people can get on board the Kidman acquisition for as little as $2500 and receive a proportional share of the income and capital value of the property that will be valued annually.”

Crowdfunding the ownership of Kidman Station would also provide a good opportunity for superannuation funds, both Australian Prudential Regulation Authority-regulated and self-managed, to access a part of the pastoral empire, which offered an indicative rent yield of about 9 per cent a year, he said.

Burgin added many opportunities existed for ordinary Australians to invest in agricultural properties, with Kidman Station not the only significant asset on the radar.

“We are actively looking at placing significant funds towards further acquisitions,” he said.

“Direct property in a diversified portfolio can assist in providing stable returns with the potential for significant gains in the longer term.

“Many younger Australians are disengaged with their super, but this is a rare opportunity to have an active interest in Australia’s future.”

Earlier this year, federal Treasurer Scott Morrison blocked a proposed sale for the property following a Foreign Investment Review Board assessment that suggested it was not in Australia’s best interest to have foreign ownership of Kidman Station.

Kidman Station is an aggregation of 17 pastoral properties and three supporting properties engaged in breeding, feedlot and cropping, totalling 101,000 square kilometres.

It is spread across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia and is home to 185,000 cattle.

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